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Meaningful Composition 9: Research Reports (first semester) Review by Christine Field

By Donna Reish
Training for Triumph
6456 E US Hwy 224
Craigville, IN 46731

If you have not heard of this company or this series of books, you are missing a gem. Training for Triumph Homeschool is the work of Donna Reish, a homeschool mom with a passion for teaching good writing. Meaningful Composition is available in multiple levels and teaches writing incrementally, with lots of examples and practice. This volume takes the student on a challenging but manageable journey. The emphasis is on high school report writing, including a research paper. Volume 9 can be used for 8th graders up to 11th graders, depending on their needs and experience.

Mrs. Reish uses a modified MLA citation method. The assignments start with an animal report of 6-8 paragraphs using 2-3 sources. Students learn to outline, make bibliography cards, use note-taking cards, and more. The second project is an agriculture/produce report of 7-10 paragraphs with 3-4 sources. Students learn quote inclusion and source citation in addition to the above. Next, students write an authority figure report of 8-10 paragraphs with 4-5 sources and then a biographical report of 10-14 paragraphs with 4-5 sources. The course culminates with a research report of 14-20 paragraphs with 5-7 sources. Students learn paraphrasing citation, formal outlining, and proper layout of a research paper.

Parents may customize the use of this material to suit their needs. It may be used as a stand-alone, one-semester English course or as a full-year curriculum when used with a grammar course. Lesson plans are provided for use in a co-op or small group.

This program is versatile, concise, comprehensive, and easy to use. You don't need to be intimidated by writing class. Check out all the levels available and give this unique material a try.

Product review by Christine Field, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, January 2010